European Union

Klaus: Joining the EU was problematic

The accession of the Czech Republic to the EU was an inevitable step since the opposing solution at the time did not have sufficient support. However, it has been evident that joining the EU was a highly problematic step!

I voted against it [EU membership], in the referendum, Václav Klaus declared.

I do not feel the need to find some soft, poorly measurable data to show whether the gross effect of our EU membership is positive or negative. How could one measure the benefits or "lost alternative opportunities" anyway?

I decided to choose a different path. I will try to recall my views on these things published even before the Czech Republic joined the EU. To not make up anything, I will quote from the book “Václav Klaus´s Europe 2”, in which the preface is dated April 14th, 2004, i.e., two weeks before the Czech Republic's accession to the EU. The book contains 43 articles and speeches that I wrote during the past 11 years. It turns out that everything was already known and said.

In January 1993, I said in Frankfurt, "Europe has never been based on pan-European unity or a great European state, and it had never benefited when someone tried to unite it under any ideology". I have repeatedly criticized the impending introduction of the euro (for example, in Alpbach, Austria in August 1996).

In October 1999 in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, I strongly insisted that "we do not access the EU to draw money from the Structural Funds. We want to go there because we have the confidence to co-decide what is happening in Europe and the European Union and how the integration process will continue". I first critically referred to migration in April 2000. I have described the external decision-making from Brussels as "the invasion of something strange, different, and new into the realm that I call for lack of a better term - borrowing from psychology - the intimate space". One must not refer to this natural human fear of threatening the intimate space as nationalism!

I concluded the last article of the 15-year-old book with a challenge: "Let's do our best not to get lost in the European Union so that the unique work of our ancestors is not reduced or lost".

The purpose of these quotations from my published texts, which still seem highly topical to me, is to remind younger generations in particular, as well as those who quickly forget that we all knew about all the European issues and discussed them. If only such a debate were possible in today's politically correct and therefore non-free age.

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